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Air Source Heat Pump Prices in the UK: What to Expect
Many people may be curious about how much it costs to buy an air source heat pump in the UK. This is a very common question that often arises when customers are considering replacing their traditional heating systems with heat pump devices.
An obvious fact is that air source heat pumps are a highly cost-effective and efficient home heating method. According to the Department of Energy, today’s heat pumps can reduce heating electricity consumption by about 50% compared to resistance electric heating methods such as furnaces and baseboard heaters.
In the UK, the average price of an air source heat pump is around £5,000 to £8,000, in addition to installation costs. However, there are several options available to homeowners that can help make the cost of an air source heat pump more manageable.
In this article, we will explain all the information you need to know about air source heat pumps, including their costs, the energy cost savings you can achieve, and how investing in this type of heating system can prove to be a worthwhile investment consideration.
What is an Air Source Heat Pump?
An air source heat pump is a renewable heating system that uses electricity to extract heat from the external air and uses it to heat your home. Their working principle is very similar to that of a refrigerator, but in the opposite direction – they don’t use cold air to cool refrigerant-filled pipes, but instead use warm air to heat them. The refrigerant is then compressed to generate high-pressure gas, which is then passed through a heat exchanger. This heats the water circulated through radiators and provides heating for your home.
Air source heat pumps rely on electricity provided by the national grid or renewable energy sources (such as solar panels or wind turbines) to operate. Using renewable energy means you will impact your home’s carbon footprint and contribute to the UK’s renewable energy targets.
What costs should be considered for the installation of a heat pump?
The cost of an air source heat pump depends on many factors, including the size of your home, the type of heating system you’re replacing, and the quality of the installation.
For replacing an existing heating system (including installation), you can expect to pay around £7,000 to £10,000, but this will depend on the brand and heat output of the heat pump. Compared to a new gas boiler, which typically costs between £1,500 – £3,500 for purchase and installation, an air source heat pump might seem like an expensive choice at first glance.
In addition to the cost of the heat pump unit itself, you also need to consider the cost of the heat pump installation. It’s crucial that your heat pump system is installed by fully qualified professionals, and that’s where UK heat pump can assist you.
So, why switch to a heat pump?
While the upfront purchase and installation costs might seem high, air source heat pumps can significantly save costs over time and easily surpass the initial investment. These include:
Cheaper energy bills: Air source heat pumps are 50% more efficient than gas boilers, meaning you’ll use less energy to heat your home, reducing energy costs. In fact, by switching to an air source heat pump, you can save up to £500 in energy bills per year.
Increased home value: Installing an air source heat pump can also increase the value of your home. A recent study by the Energy Saving Trust found that properties equipped with air source heat pumps were on average £6,000 more valuable than those without.
Government grants and incentives: The government offers many grants and incentives to help lower the cost of installing air source heat pumps. One such incentive is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, which aims to encourage households to switch from old, inefficient boilers to renewable energy alternatives.
How much are the running costs of an air source heat pump?
Unlike gas boilers, air source heat pumps are powered by electricity. This means that the running costs will depend on the amount of electricity you draw from the grid.
The average annual electricity consumption for a UK household is around 3,300 kilowatt-hours. Calculated at an average electricity price of 34p per kilowatt-hour (as of June 2023), running an air source heat pump will cost around £1,122 per year.
However, if you combine the air source heat pump with renewable energy technologies (such as solar panels), you can significantly reduce running costs. This way, you’ll save on both gas and electricity bills.
How much energy cost savings can you expect?
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on many factors such as:
- The size of your home
- The type of air source heat pump you install
- Your energy usage habits
- Electricity and gas prices in your area
However, it’s fair to say that switching to an air source heat pump can save you hundreds of pounds in energy costs each year, with some households saving up to 50% on their heating expenses alone.
When will gas boilers be fully phased out in the UK?
The government announced that by 2025, new homes will be completely phasing out gas boilers. This means that new buildings won’t be allowed to install gas boilers, and all households will need to switch to alternative heating systems when replacing their boilers.
However, this doesn’t mean you have to switch to an air source heat pump. You can choose to install different types of heating systems, such as biomass boilers or ground source heat pumps.
With 2025 approaching, it’s essential to start planning for the transition now. The sooner you start considering it, the easier it will be to make the change when the time comes.
What assistance is available for the cost of switching to a heat pump?
Clearly, expecting households to have the ability to transition to air source heat pumps and other renewable energy technologies is not realistic. That’s why the UK government has introduced a range of schemes to help people cover the costs. Currently, plans that can offer financial assistance or grants are the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS).
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Through these schemes, you can apply for:
£5,000 off the purchase and installation costs of an air source heat pump
£5,000 off the purchase and installation costs of a biomass boiler
£6,000 off the cost of purchasing and installing a ground source heat pump
How to reduce energy costs
In addition to switching to an air source heat pump, there are many other measures you can take to reduce energy costs:
Install insulation in your home – This is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce energy costs as it will keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer, reducing the need for excessive energy usage to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Install smart thermostats – Smart thermostats allow you to control heating remotely via your phone, ensuring it doesn’t run when you’re not at home or sleeping. This can save you a significant amount of energy costs.
Upgrade your boiler – If your boiler is over ten years old, it’s likely not energy-efficient. Upgrading to a newer, more energy-efficient boiler (or better yet, an air source heat pump) can save you hundreds of pounds in energy costs each year.
Install solar panels – Solar panels can help you reduce your dependency on grid energy, saving you money in the long run. You can even sell excess electricity back to the grid to profit from solar panels.
Install smart meters – Smart meters will help you track your energy usage and identify areas where you can save costs. This can help you save up to £300 in energy costs per year.
Turn off unused appliances – Many people are not aware that even when appliances are not in use, they still consume energy. By turning off unused appliances, you can save a significant amount on your electricity bill.
Switch to LED light bulbs – LED light bulbs save up to 90% of energy compared to traditional bulbs, which means you can save on electricity costs and contribute to the environment.
Run the washing machine and dishwasher only when full – Washing machines and dishwashers consume a lot of energy, so it’s best to run them only when they’re full. This will save you energy costs and help conserve resources.
Conclusion on Air Source Heat Pumps:
As you can see, the answer to how much air source heat pumps cost in the UK is not always straightforward. It depends on your individual circumstances and the type of heating system you currently have.
However, if you’re considering making the switch, finding a reliable installer is crucial as they can help you find the best price and successfully install your heat pump system – whether an air source heat pump or a ground source heat pump – so you can enjoy the savings in the years to come. You may even be eligible for grants and assistance through various government-supported schemes.
So, what are you waiting for? Find out today what heat pump options are available for you.
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